Barmy and Barny

August 5, 2014 11:16am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 21 Comments



There are some rather interesting people who live near me.  In fact, they make me seem quite normal and boring.

For starters, there’s the interestingly dressed lady and her three legged dog.  I am fascinated by this woman because she is ALWAYS walking her dog.  Morning, noon and night. I think this is why he only has three legs because she has worn one of them down.  I went on a mission a few months back to get a photo of her and ask her why she is always walking. Of course, the minute I decide to do this she eludes me.  I’m either in the car and can’t stop or in my pyjamas staring out the window when she passes and, well, I wouldn’t want to frighten the crap out of her.  But I’m not giving up, as much as she tries to give me the slip, I will have my moment.

Then there’s the running man whom I refer to as Spencer Davis.  He runs ALL THE TIME. He must be in his seventies, as thin as a rake and he, like the walking lady, runs morning, noon and night with a massive grin constantly plastered to his face. Perhaps the wind has just made him stick like that, I don’t know.  Again, I am intent on shooting this man and asking him why he is always running. Maybe he’s forgotten where he lives or is in a perpetual nightmare? The problem is, he just whips past me at speed and I’m really not a runner.  I think I’m going to have to trip him up to get what I want.  I am convinced that  he and the three legged dog lady would make a great couple, if they ever got to see each other of course.

And eventually there’s the bird man.  Here he is with his Barn Owl.

Bird Man

Now this man is always taking his owl for a saunter up and down the High Street shops, round the block, near the river, like you do.  This weekend I went to the riverside festival and there they were.  And there was I with my camera.  And there were all the public getting in my way as I tried to capture the moment. Fortunately, mushy peas and mint sauce were going for £1 at the nearby pea stall and the onlookers took off at the thought of a bargain,  leaving me free for a few seconds.

The Owl Master

As you can see on his T-shirt he clearly has a dog.  It could be a stuffed toy but I’m not so sure.  Have I ever seen him walk his pooch?  No.  Never.  He walks his owl.


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An owl on the shoulder is an interesting variation on the parrot theme. That old fellow is The Barnyard Pirate, looking for buried field mice instead of treasure.

Never interrupt a man with a massive grin on his face, Jules. He’s bound to show you something you don’t want to see.

Mr. Gorilla Bananas, I thought so too. A parrot would be too noisy and possibly offensive; I think the owl has a mystical allure.

His grin is rather disconcerting, I must agree and I certainly don’t want to be shown his hidden agenda.


i know that dog. it’s the dog from the cover of Alice In Chains’s third studio album, the self-titled one from 1995. *)



Yes, it is very much like that dog, in fact. I’m now going to name the lady Alice. *)

OK, so not only does he walk around with an owl nailed to his shoulder, but whilst he does so, he wears a sweatshirt bearing a picture of him… with an owl nailed to his shoulder.
Mad to the power of two.

I also have a running man. Only ever seen him once, but I hear him as he runs past the house twice a day: at 04:15 and again 15 minutes later.

Like you, I’d happily shoot him.

Masher, I know, it’s so bonkers isn’t it.

Are you sure your running man isn’t some skank nicking stuff out of garden sheds? What a stupid time to go running. Shoot him.

I hate to say this, but barn owl man looks like those apple carving old people that you always see at arts and craft fairs. Well, that you always see at arts and crafts fairs in Tennessee and other southern states, I guess.

I’ve never seen one Steve, but I take your word for it. I’m sure Barn Owl man would want one of those since he’s already got the T-shirt!

I think that barn owl man has been hanging out with his owl too much. They’re starting to look alike. It’s comforting to see that strangeness is so global. Next time I’m walking down the street feeling as though I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, I’ll remember this post. 😀

Owners and their pets, eh? Tracy, I actually believe that I DID fall down the rabbit hole and that’s where I live! 🙂

I’m thinking that he fed the dog to the owl, a piece at at time.

The question for you, Jules is whether or not your Jack Russell has taken on your attributes.

And are YOU one of the neighborhood characters as your dog takes you for a walk?

Hey Larry 🙂 Yeah, he probably did!

Hmmm…my JR is an out and out manipulator so clearly we are very different…..

I never thought of that. “There’s that crazy chic lying on the pavement with her camera with the mad dog that spins round and round in circles.”

It’s not an indictment. It was only idle speculation… ;^)

I know…..I rarely take anything as a serious accusation! It is interesting to have my stuff thrown back at me though 🙂

Really. You’ve never seen strident, shrill, independent, bossy, bitter, domineering, manipulative, overbearing, headstrong, contrary, or judgemental applied to a man.Don’t get out much…..?

Life is so weird. Who needs fiction? I love the idea of the owl man, and his shirt busted me up. Look, here’s my owl and a picture of my owl too! How awesome am I?

Life is weirder than fiction!
Crystal, I think it is safe to say he is obsessed 🙂

During my morning commute, I used to see a man jogging down Madison Avenue with BARE FEET. No shoes at all! Can you imagine?! I couldn’t scrub my feet hard enough to get them clean. I always want to get pics and have a chat but I never did. He was too fast.

I’d like a pet owl. That’d be cool.

Thats mental.

I’d like a pet black panther. Then I could catch these folks.

Maybe he wears the owl like a fashion accessory. That hat is pretty rad, which kind of suggests he might be into that kind of thing.

He’s old school cool, right?

I think I should send that first pic to Nike so they can work up an owl product. A sneaky, silent, can be seen in the dark, super fast, trainer. Yeah.. I should just do it.

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